Soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour and can be prepared in various hot and cold dishes. Soba dishes are very popular in Japan, available from specialty restaurants to fast food places at railway stations. Soba noodles are available in dried form in U.S. supermarkets.
Contrary to its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, nor it is a cereal grain. It is a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel, making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Therefore, it is both gluten-free and grain-free! Always check the packaging on soba noodles to make sure no other flours are added if you follow a 100% gluten or grain free diet.
Since spring is finally here, I prepared this dish with spring veggies and then added a homemade teriyaki sauce. This dish is extremely easy to make and will be ready in 20 minutes or less. Your homemade teriyaki sauce will take a little longer to cook, but you can make it ahead and refrigerate until ready to use.
SOBA NOODLES WITH SPRING VEGETABLES AND TERIYAKI SAUCE
For noodles with veggies: 1 tablespoon canola oil
2 garlic cloves (peeled and sliced)
5 slices fresh ginger
1 bunch green asparagus (washed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
2 bunches scallions (washed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
1/2 cup peas
8 oz. soba noodles
For teriyaki sauce:
1 cup mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
Cook noodles in a pot of salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles under cold water. Drain well.
Heat a deep sauté pan or wok over high heat and add canola oil, ginger and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until garlic is golden brown; remove using a slotted spoon; reserve garlic and discard ginger.
Add asparagus, scallions and peas and cook over medium-high heat until tender (about 4 minutes). Season to taste with salt.
Add cooked noodles and toss to combine. Transfer to a bowl and add teriyaki sauce.
For the teriyaki sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and gently simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened (about 40 minutes). Let cool.